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Growth and Welfare in A Small Open Economy

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  • Gene M. Grossman
  • Elhanan Helpman

Abstract

We construct a model of growth based on endogenous technological change in a small, open economy. Entrepreneurs develop new intermediate products whenever the present value of potential profits exceeds the cost of R&D. Diversity of intermediates contributes to total factor productivity in the production of final goods. The economy produces two such final goods, and trades these at exogenously given world prices. We study the welfare implications of R&D subsidies and commercial policy. There exists an optimal subsidy to R&D that speeds growth relative to the market-determined rate. The optimal subsidy achieves the first-best rate of growth, but not the first-best level of welfare. Small tariffs and export subsidies also affect both growth and welfare. Growth may increase or decrease, depending upon which sector is promoted by the trade policy. But an increase in the growth rate is neither necessary nor sufficient for a trade policy to improve welfare. Finally, we compare tariffs and quotas, when the latter give rise to rent-seeking behavior. The diversion of resources from innovative activities to rent seeking can have dire implications for growth and welfare.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2970.

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Date of creation: May 1989
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Publication status: published as International Trade and Trade Policy. eds., E. Helpman and A. Razin, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1991.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2970

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  1. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1990. "Comparative Advantage and Long-run Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(4), pages 796-815, September.
  2. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1982. "National and International Returns to Scale in the Modern Theory of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 389-405, June.
  3. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Klundert, Th. van de & Meijdam, A.C., 1993. "Endogenous growth and income distribution," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-381400, Tilburg University.
  2. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1994. "Lecture notes on economic growth (II): Five prototype models of endogenous growth," Economics Working Papers 78, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  3. Christou, Costas, 2001. "Differential Borrowing Constraints and Investment in Human Capital," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 277-295, April.
  4. Aizenman, Joshua, 1992. "Trade reforms, credibility, and development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 163-187, July.
  5. Badibanga, Thaddee Mutumba & Diao, Xinshen & Roe, Terry L. & Somwaru, Agapi, 2008. "Dynamics of Structural Transformation: Understanding the Key Factors That Drive Innovative Activities in Selected Asian and African Countries," Bulletins 43890, University of Minnesota, Economic Development Center.
  6. Padoan, Pier Carlo, 1996. "Trade and the accumulation and diffusion of knowledge," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1679, The World Bank.
  7. Young, Ralph, 1993. "Economics of Innovation: Black Hole or Positive Sum?," 1993 Conference (37th), February 9-11, 1993, Sydney, Australia 147920, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  8. Tudose Mihaela Brindusa & CadiƟ Mihaela Narciza, 2013. "The Role Of Education In The Economic Development," Annals - Economy Series, Constantin Brancusi University, Faculty of Economics, vol. 4, pages 85-92, August.
  9. Rivera-Batiz, Luis A. & Romer, Paul M., 1991. "International trade with endogenous technological change," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 971-1001, May.
  10. Klundert, T.C.M.J. van de, 1990. "Crowding out and the wealth of nations," Discussion Paper 1990-29, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  11. Badibanga, Thaddee & Diao, Xinshen & Roe, Terry & Somwaru, Agapi, 2009. "Dynamics of structural transformation: An empirical characterization in the case of China, Malaysia, and Ghana," IFPRI discussion papers 856, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  12. Faiza Umer & Shaista Alam, 2013. "Effect of Openness to Trade and FDI on Industrial Sector Growth: A Case Study for Pakistan," Romanian Economic Journal, Department of International Business and Economics from the Academy of Economic Studies Bucharest, vol. 16(48), pages 179-198, June.
  13. Ozturk, Ilhan, 2001. "The role of education in economic development: a theoretical perspective," MPRA Paper 9023, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  14. Padoan, Pier Carlo, 1998. "Trade, knowledge accumulation and diffusion: A sectoral perspective1," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 349-372, September.

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